5.30.2009

Look ma!

I won something!! See that nice little blue and black Audrey over there on the sidebar? That's my Audrey award, for the Ever After card I made for last week's Cinema Saturday creative challenge. Like I said in my last post, I am so in love with this little card, and I am so thrilled to have won something for it! The best part is, I get to be a guest designer on the blog for next week's challenge-fun huh? I never win anything...I am excited! :)

On the creative side, I haven't been doing much crafting lately. I am into summer mode, which means cleaning and reorganizing the house, and my long overdue craft room is top of the list. It is a war zone right now. But soon I will be back with some photos of my space and my new storage solutions that I think I am going to be happy with, so stay tuned!

I am off to make some triple berry mini cream pies for dessert tonight. Happy weekend!!

5.24.2009

Cinema Saturday Creative Challenge #33

I'm back! Two posts in one day, how's that for fun? :)

I have a share for you, but a bit of an intro first. I am starting to get into challenges. I have been doing the Hero Arts weekly challenges for quite some time now and really enjoy having something specific to create for. It works for me when sometimes I get the time to create something but don't have anything good or particular in mind (which happens a lot). Challenges give me a starting point and it's usually pretty easy from there. I just began playing over with Kristina Werner and going to start with Dawn McVey. They both do color challenges and I like them because I usually start my process by picking colors...just what works for me.

But, a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled onto this fantastic challenge blog by accident while hopping around online. It is called Cinema Saturday, as you can see by the title of this post and I love the concept: each week, they select a movie to base your creation around. Can be the music, themes, costumes, characters, lines...anything. They also give one or two basic requirements. I lurked for the last challenge, which was for the movie Twilight because I hadn't seen and didn't want to, but the movie this week was "Ever After," which is one of my favorite favorite movies, so I had to play along!

The movie is a modern take on Cinderella, but set in the 1500's, with Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, and a host of others great actors. It has fantastic music, costumes, setting, is well-written, and it has action, drama and romance all in one--just terrific! As I watched the movie, I was drawn to a particular scene in which we first see Danielle posing as a Comtesse and she first meets the prince. It is one of my favorites. She wears a beautiful green, ivory and gold gown and pearls in her hair, but still wears her peasant shoes and it illustrates perfectly that balance she is trying for between her dual lives. I used her outfit (the colors, the pearls, the lace) and that duality as inspiration for my card. I am utterly in love with it.

Here's a few shots of her in the outfit (from here):


And here's the card:
I love this sentiment (from Papertrey Ink) that I used and I think it was perfect for this card. Despite their "impossibilities," Prince Henry and Danielle end up together. Aww! Even I enjoy a good romance once in a while. Thanks for looking (and reading all this)! Have a good evening!

kwerner Color Inspiration #53-take 1


If you normally read this blog, you should recognize this card. I am reposting in order to enter it into the color challenge this week at Kristina Werner's blog. I know the colors are not a 100% match (there's a little too little yellow and a little too much orange) but they are so close that I have to! Plus, I like these colors, so I plan to make a new card as well. Maybe later...
If you're new to my blog, check out this post for more info on what these cards were made for. TFL!

5.23.2009

Going green...

Warning: Long post following, but it's a yummy one, promise! :)

Today is Saturday and that means the farmer's market for us. It is one of the ways that we are trying to go green: buying local and organic when we can. This weekly event for us coincides with the challenge over at Hero Arts this week, which is to go green! The task is to use at least on Hero Arts stamps and some sort of recycled material on your card or project. All week I have been thinking and thinking and gathering materials, looking at things in a new light--what could I make with this?? sort of thing on my way to the trash/recycling bin-- BUT I had yet to create anything. Couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do. As it turns out, this challenge spread to more than just my creative projects...

This was our loot for the morning:

fresh flowers, wheat grass for the kitties, potatoes and onions, multi-color cherry tomatoes, beets, yellow squash, strawberries, snow peas, a beautiful head of red leaf lettuce, and fresh rabbit!

As I shopped this morning in the sunshine, unloaded all of our purchases, and began arranging the flowers in my mind, I was thinking about how shopping at a farmer's market and bringing home such wonderful food should equal putting out less waste. Just seems to me like earth karma or something. So as I struggled with finding room in the fridge for that giant bunch of beets, I had to cut off the leaves. But I decided on some new uses for them!

First, with the all-white bouquet I had bought, I couldn't resist those lovely purples stems mixed in! From these:

I got these:

Then, in a stroke of genius (or horrible insanity, I'm not sure which yet), I was suddenly inspired to use the materials I had gained in a card: the leftover leaves and the brown wrapping paper that had tied my bouquet. Here's my card:

This flower is made from recycled tissue paper that enclosed these new flourish stamps that arrived by mail yesterday. (Yum-o! Papertrey Ink this month, by the way) The best part, for me, are the leaves! I made them by rubbing the beet leaves onto white cardstock, VERY slowly and carefully, with an acrylic block to release the juices. All the color on those bad boys is natural--no ink involved!! I am tickled with myself, needless to say. :)
That's all I've got for now; I'll post later with the supplies. We are off to dinner at my parents. Thanks for looking! Hope you are all having a great weekend so far! :)

5.18.2009

kwerner Color Inpsiration #52

For a while now I have been reading Kristina Werner's design blog and following along (lurking, really) with the color inspiration challenges. Last one, I finally decided to play along! Only, I didn't pay attention to the deadline and by the time I got my card done and ready to post, the deadline was long passed (you can now find that card in my Etsy shop---see if you can guess which one). So when she posted the latest challenge, I was determined to just do it and get it in on time.
Here are the colors this week:

I really liked the colors picked this week, despite knowing from the beginning that it would be a tough one--I mean, no black OR brown?! I was inspired by the colors, Kristina's fantastic use of hand-drawn lines, and a need for some sunshine after two straight days of rainy COLD weather. (Seriously...Saturday I thought we were going to get some nicer weather but boy was I wrong!! Yesterday and today have been rain and storms all day and the temperature has dripped from the upper 80's on Saturday, to the low 60's today! Weather sure is crazy...) Anyhow, here is what I came up with for the challenge and sorry in advance for the bad photos! :) Size is 5 x 5 inches. And I think I am now obsessed with this butterfly stamp!!
Supplies: Cardstock (Bazzill-sand, mustard; Papertrey Ink-white, aqua); patterned paper-BasicGrey(aqua), PTI-lemon tart bitty dot; stamps: butterfly(Hero Arts), sentiment (PTI); buttons (Fancy Pants); ribbon (Offray); paper floss (Karen Foster designs); gems (Target); other: corner rounder punch, versamark ink, white embossing powder, pop dots (under butterfly wings), white Gelly Roll pen

Thanks for looking. I'm off to make a special birthday treat for J. His birthday was yesterday but we were celebrating with family, so tonight he gets his dinner choice and special dessert at home. More on that later...Have a good night!

5.16.2009

38 long years

Hope everyone is having a terrific weekend so far. After some rainy days this week, it looks like we're having some nice-and unseasonably cool(er)-weather this weekend---we've actually had just the windows open for almost a week now!!

I've got just a quick share for you guys today. It's an anniversary card I made for my in-laws, who celebrated 38 years yesterday--Congratulations to them!! I apologize in advance for the bad lighting...took these inside at night before I sealed it up in the envelope.

Without further ado, here's the card:

And some close-ups of the details...

Supplies: Cardstock, patterned paper, all stamps, white ink(on yellow heart)-Papertrey Ink; ribbon-American Crafts; ink-Studio G (aqua), Colorbox chalk (brown and gray); other-thread, (Zig) embossing pen, silver embossing powder (Ranger), paper piercer, Fiskars border punch

Thanks for looking and come again soon!!

5.15.2009

I could...

...claim that this is the reason I am not getting any work done:


But that wouldn't be fair to little Marco! He's just trying to get his nap in. :)

Just thought I would share this funny pic. I am off to housework and some planting, but I'll be back later for a share! Happy Friday!!

5.12.2009

Gift...

...card holders!!

I am happy to announce the first of a few new lines of product I have up my sleeve for my Etsy shop: Squeeze Card Co. This line, as I said, is gift card holders. As much as I would always rather give a personalized gift, that is not always easy or convenient. There seems to be the inevitable person for whom the best thing I can come up with is a gift card to their favorite shop or those "just because" kind of gifts. It is these moments that my card holders are aimed at.

This is my favorite one so far! :)

They are all uniform in size and basic design: clean lines, skinny ribbon, and fun images, with a little bit of scallops thrown in for good measure. They all measure 5 inches wide by 3 inches tall and they open up, with a little pocket inside for the gift card (or money). And the best part: they are all selling for a sweet $2.50, much cheaper than you could get in a store these days. Check them out here. There are more to be listed, hopefully tonight, but in the meantime, I'd love to know what you think!

I'm off to make a quick (late) dinner: BLT's. Yum!

5.11.2009

The busy month of May!

May is a busy busy month around here! Looking at my calendar I count: Mother's Day, 6 birthdays (including my own!), and an anniversary--all in the span of 9 days. That means lots of cardmaking going on in my studio and lots of shares coming to you.

First I have a quick announcement about my Etsy shop: I am now a proud member of the Etsy Greetings Team! This seems to be a great team who works together to promote each other's shops and offer fun challenges and support. I am excited to be joining. I have already seen some more exposure, including being a featured shop on one member's blog, The Downtown Boutique. There she features all sorts of wonderful handmade items. Check out this post and the right hand sidebar for my feature. You can also check out her Etsy shop, Rio Oso Designs, with lovely graphic design work.

Now onto some shares!! :)

First I wanted to show you the card I made for my mom to go with her banner, which she loved. I wanted it to have a similar feel, but threw in some girly pink to go with it. And I am in love with the fabulous satin ribbon from Papertrey Ink--must get more!!

Supplies: All stamps, card stock, ribbon-Papertrey Ink; trim-Wyla; ink-Colorbox chalk; border punch-Fiskars

This next one is a card I whipped up for our niece, who is turning 17. I am never good with this age group, being that I never was a typical teenage girl myself, so I always come up with something that seems just not quite right. This time, though, I think I got it right. (I like it so much, in fact, that you may be seeing it again in my shop!!) And, the funny part is that the card ended up matching almost exactly the Old Navy gift card and envelope that we put in it--so not intentional, but fun. This is kind of rock star cool, don't ya think? :)
The sentiment is embossed in silver, but I couldn't get a good shot of it in the fading sun.

The inside has a simple and super quick stapled pocket for the gift card. The message is behind it.

I also wanted to share this neat technique that I learned by [happy] accident. I wanted to put some Glossy Accents over the top of those hearts that I had colored in with pencil, but I didn't want to wait for it to dry, so I thought I would try out my Zig new embossing pen. After I little trouble starting (thus the wierd blue hue on the first heart), I got it rolling and colored all the hearts in quickly and embossed with clear powder. Apparently, the embossing ink doesn't quite stick to the waxy colored pencil, so when it heated up it left this crystally look, like melted sugar. Reminds me of creme brulee! But either way, it turned out to be a perfect look for the top of a cupcake! I will definitely try this look again.

Supplies
: pink and gray card stock-Bazzill; white and black cardstock, sentiment-Papertrey Ink; cupcake image-Studio G; ribbon-Offray; metal dots-Colorbok; other: embossing pen (Zig) , clear & silver embossing powder (Ranger), Versamark ink, border punch (Fiskars), gray marker (Staedtler), staples


That's all I've got for you today, but there's more to come. Thanks for stopping by and happy Monday!

5.10.2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

In honor of Mother's day, I thought that I would post quickly here with a little project I made for my mom. The Hero Arts challenge this week was to create a card/project inspired by one of the 2500+ entries for their Win A Day on the Blog contest. I loved Tiffany's idea here of doing a banner for her mother. So, since the family is coming over this evening, I thought it would be fun to have a little banner on my mom's chair. And, since she has just redecorated her room in a white-on-white, shabby chic look, I thought it would be nice to use that color scheme and make it something she could hang in her room once Mother's day has passed. So without further ado, here is my banner!

Supplies: Stamps: HA K5155, F5158, K5107, LP128, LL230, CL290; Maya Road Antique Keys; Inkadinkado Chelsea Alphabet; date stamp (unknown) Other Supplies: twine; thread; cardstock, buttons, ribbon (Papertrey Ink); paper flowers & tag (Prima); chipboard key, swirls, & squares (Colorbok); acrylic paint; white embossing powder; chalk ink (Colorbox); Distress Ink (Ranger); Versamark ink; trinket pins (Maya Road); cotton trim (Wyla)
There are more pictures to be seen at my Flickr photostream.

I am off to get the shopping list and menu for the week done and then it's preparing for this afternoon's company. Hope all the moms reading are having a fabulous day!!

5.03.2009

Branching out...

I am not a seafood eater. Never have been, despite trying it over the years. Lobster in butter? Not for me, my friend. Fish & chips? No chance. Crabcakes? No way José. The thought of a shrimp makes me squirm in disgust. Not to even mention oysters, clams...the list goes on.

Well, given that I am trying to healthy up my diet I have been giving the issue some consideration lately. A couple weeks ago, we went out to dinner with a friend and J ordered pan-fried trout. I tried a bite to be obliging [he always complains that he tries my food and I turn my nose up at his when we go out! :)] and surprise! It wasn't so bad!! Maybe I can do this fish thing after all. I didn't admit that, of course.

But, on Saturday at the farmer's market, all the vendors with fresh meat and yes, seafood, made me do the unthinkable--I wanted to buy some fresh fish! I think for me, now that I realize that maybe all of it doesn't taste as bad as I thought, I need to prepare it myself to get over the semi-phobia I have with it. Not to mention, knowing that it is as fresh as you can get doesn't hurt either. I voted for flounder. Luckily for me (which I found out today), they were out so we went with a fillet of mahi mahi. The guy explained to me how to cook it, which was indeed humbling, as I fancy myself a pretty equipped cook. This was the one thing I hadn't a clue about. He recommended some simple methods and seasoning with ginger.

Tonight I prepared it for dinner, somewhat reluctantly, because even though I bought it, I was having second thoughts. I got on the internet as hunger pangs were starting to grip my tummy and looked for a recipe to guide me on cooking my first fish dish. I found this one from allrecipes.com and with a little tweaking, we ended up with this:
Ginger glazed Mahi, served with brown rice and steamed snap peas. Yum!

It really was fantastic. I can't believe I waited so long to give it a try and I know J is thrilled. He even proclaimed that it was the best piece of fish he has ever eaten. Anywhere. Period. Which is a pretty big compliment. :)

I still don't think I am going near a shrimp anytime soon...